Every Fighter Is A Song

Howdy!

My sincere apologies for the delay, but you know how it is… work work work. All’s I can say – it beats the alternative…

Well, in the last couple of days I was toying with an idea about tying two things I love together into one post. Music and MMA. Now, we know that fighters have their walk-in music. Some choose a song based on their current mood, or if they want to make a specific statement. Others have a song they always use. That’s all nice and dandy.

But what I was thinking about was – what song IS that fighter? Which song could represent a fighter? So with that in mind…

Here are ten fighters and their songs:

Conor McGregorThe real slim shady / Eminem

There’s no one quite like Conor, some folks try to be like Conor but they’re not the real Conor now are they? A spark of craziness and a similar spark of genius. Will the real Conor McGregor please stand up?

Jon JonesBohemian rhapsody / Queen

Just like this Queen masterpiece, Jones starts out quiet, develops quickly with some unexpected turns and explodes into a crescendo. To date, though, that peak was followed by a whisper… Let’s hope that – like what usually happens with this song – we will just hit “repeat” and listen again and again as this young lad makes his comeback. Also considered one of the best of all times.

Demetrious JohnsonPlug in baby / Muse

The song is quite short, is mostly burst after burst of energy, and one of the best of its generation. Hold on, did I just describe a song by Muse? or the flyweight champion?

Daniel CormierSweet Home Alabama / Lynyrd Skynyrd

DC may be from Louisiana, but still, we’re talking about some southern gold which some people may have sneezed at, at first. Until they realized it’s just that damn good.

Frankie EdgarWorking on a dream / Bruce Springsteen

Frankie, like the Boss is a Jersey boy who’s busy with the dream. Like the subjects of Springsteen’s song (pretty much – us), Frankie might hit a wall every so often. But he keeps the hope alive, that one day, with the right attitude and hard work – he will realize his dream. Will it happen? I don’t know. The song is a song of hope, and like Frankie, we won’t give up on that.

Nate Diaz (Nick Diaz)Smoke two joints / sublime

Not a man of many words, but says it as it is. For him. Represent yo.

Ronda Rousey – I, Me, Mine / The Beatles

All through the day, I, me, mine, I, me, mine, I, me, mine. Even those tears, I, me, mine etc. It seems like it was always about Ronda doesn’t it? She’s here, She’s there, she’s everywhere (no, that song doesn’t fit). It wasn’t about the sport, not even about the promotion. It was about Ronda. Well, for better or for worse, only time will tell. We’re waiting for the new chapter in this story.

Robbie LawlerBad company / Five Finger Death Punch cover

This song, like the fighter, is a very nice mix of Aggression and heart felt look at one’s career. A warrior like Robbie who’s done this and that, was scorned by so many of us, yet realized his true identity and… well, you know the rest. I can’t deny, till the day I die.

Michael BispingManchester England England / Hair Cast

What can I say? He believes that god believes in “Claude”. That’s him. Hair also attracts polarizing views. Some people love it, while others can’t stand it. I like it.

Fabricio WerdumPais tropical / Sergio Mendes

For I do not owe anything to anyone. For I am happy, very happy with myself. I saw werdum trying to show a “tough” front in promo work. At best it was a not smiling Fabricio. This guy seems to truly be having fun every minute of his career. What wasn’t said of him in the past? he was all but written off until storming all the way to the top of the heavyweight division.

Well, hope you enjoyed. Will be happy to hear opinions, other ideas. What song is you?

Until next time (very soon – UFC197 Predictions…),

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You sold out!

Hello ladies and gents, welcome back.

In recent weeks I’ve done a bit of reblogging. I shared some nice posts (see references below) I found on WordPress while busying myself with some important everyday life tasks, on top of plotting my next book.

Since my attention span is often likened to – hey here’s a butterfly – what was I saying? I wasn’t able to really concentrate on anything much other than the aforementioned occupations. But, while humming in the shower today, I remembered an idea that keeps popping into my head every now and then and I thought it’d justify dedicating a post to it.

You guys know I fell in love with a band called Muse, remember? Well, seems like the “hard-core fan base” is worried. Why? Because of recent albums that were perceived by certain individuals as “not the real Muse”.

Well, you know the drill.

It normally follows these next 3 phases:

Phase 1 – Anonymity

Why is no one listening to this band? These guys are geniuses! Why is the mainstream media ignoring them? Why don’t they get played on the radio? Why is MTV so full of shit and not one clip from this band? What a world we live in where a band that good can’t break into mainstream media!

Phase 2 – Selling out

Holy shit, ever since that album, this band is played on every radio station, gets a special on MTV, every Tom, Dick and Harry owns their latest CD. YOU SOLD OUT! Why can’t they go back to their roots???

Phase 3 – Recycled shit

O. M. G. did you hear that piece of crap album this band just released? Excuse me but I have to puke. That’s so 2007. These guys just recycle riffs. What a bunch of losers!

Often, as is the case of Muse, there’s an additional phase I like to call Phase 2b – The experimental phase. Where the band dares stray an inch from their marque chord progression, which in turn sends a legion of teenage girls into a frenzy. That normally leads to the inevitable phase 3 described above.

That cycle applies to pretty much every band that grew from the garage and up. Honorable mentions to Metallica, Green Day, Red hot chili peppers, Foo Fighters and the list goes on and on.

Excuse me but never has a nickname been so misplaced as “hard-core fans”. To me, that sounds more like whiny spoiled brats.

In the case of Muse, it’s even  more irritating, since the Albums that are considered “Selling out” and “Experimental” are likely the bands most important pieces of recordings. “The Resistance” and “Drones” (Which wasn’t even released yet! Yes, it’s that pathetic).

Two concept albums that actually SAY something about life. and that, ladies and gentlemen constitutes “Selling out“. What’s the world coming to?

Here end rant.

Muse’s “Drones” hit stores on June 9th, 2015 and you better get on the bandwagon now. Just cause I’m nice, let me save you the google-ing. Here are the first three singles released from what promises to be a kick ass, no holds barred album:

And as promised, links to these nice posts I reblogged recently, in case you missed them. They’re really good:

As usual, feel free to leave a comment, like and/or share this post with the rest of the blogosphere. Who knows? Maybe one day my blog will be popular enough to be accused of “Selling out!“.

MUSE – As Advertised

Welcome good men and women.

Today, I thought I’d share some of my appreciation for a band I learned to love and respect.

I won’t try to convince you that their music is awesome (it is), or that their concerts are great (they are). I’m not really going to talk about their music at all.

I just happen to find their name choice very appropriate.

I want to show what I mean, through two of their biggest hits (and the fact that they are hits is important).

Resistance:

If we live a life in fear
I’ll wait a thousand years
Just to see you smile again

Kill your prayers for love and peace
You’ll wake the thought police
We can’t hide the truth inside

If you’ve heard these lyrics and didn’t immediately think about George Orwell’s 1984, I believe there are two options. You either didn’t read the book, or you weren’t listening very well. Not just the specific term “Thought police”, but the whole piece. To me personally it screams Winston Smith and Julia. Their secret struggle and yearning to experience life to its fullest, the hopelessness of their predicament.

Here’s where a listener can listen to one song and be inspired to read a powerful and thought provoking book. Muse.

But it’s not only inspiring in a direct link to the book.

Love is our resistance
They’ll keep us apart and they won’t stop breaking us down
Hold me
Our lips must always be sealed

At times, this world seem to be weighing down on everyone. External forces of every kind try to “put us in our place”, to keep us “in line”. We’re limited by laws and rules, by norms and expectations. “They” can try to keep us apart and break us down, but they can’t control our hearts. Love is our resistance.

Uprising:

From the opening lines, it’s clear that these guys aren’t settling for the “official version”.

Paranoia is in bloom,
The PR, transmissions will resume
They’ll try to, push drugs that keep us all dumbed down
And hope that, we will never see the truth around

In a world as cynical as it’s ever been, I personally feel good when I see  that there are others who can see past the spiel the media is feeding us. I only hope that many would listen, really listen to this song and at the very least acknowledge that things aren’t what they seem, and that just by being aware, we can start to take the power back.

Rise up and take the power back
It’s time the, fat cats had a heart attack
You know that, their time’s coming to an end
We have to, unify and watch our flag ascend 

I love music for many reasons. But every now and then, there are musicians who inspire. I hope this made sense to you as much as it did for me.

  • What do you think?
  • Who else inspire you through music?

Until next time,

MORE MUSE:

Better than a thousand hollow words

Welcome back folks. It’s nice of you to drop by again.

Today, I want to share a conversation with you. Just a normal Q&A, back and forth, chitchat between two people.

One of them is me. The other one, we will call M.I.F for reasons which will become apparent as you read.

This conversation took place in Facebook, as many these days do. Between two friends who have never met in real life. In light of this, the nature of the conversation is of course, trying to understand who the other person is. What he likes, dislikes and to try and get a peek into his views of the world. Just 2 guys talking here. Also, please excuse some grammar and spelling errors. Both of us speak English as second language.

Here goes:

Gil: Please recommend three places to visit in your country.

M.I.F: To Americans, Israelis and perhaps British, I recommend the following. I said America and Israel cause they have a bad image (perception) of Iran. Not all of them but I know many of them do. These three countries can meet the real Iran. We like guests. We’d especially welcome Israeli people, because in the past, before the Islamic revolution of 1979 many Jews lived in iran and also thousand years ago there was a really good relationship between Persians and Jewish people. Even now in Iran, there are many Jews, Muslims, Christians, many atheists and then Zarathustra live in Iran. We want peace with America and Israel, don’t listen to the media outlets, maybe about 70% Iranians are the friends of peace and they do not agree with this Islamic republic of Iran, and about 70% of Iranians disagree with these Islamic rules and this regime in Iran. They are not happy with that because before 1979 Iran was a free country like the west and we NEVER, EVER had any Islamic rules in Iran and these Islamic rules came to my country from Arabic countries. You can read about this also and make sure my words are correct. Any way, I would welcome all guests to Iran and i hope to see a good relation again between Iran, Israel and America.

Gil: What kind of music do you like? Any favorite artists?

M.I.F: I love sonati (traditional Persian music). I listen to rap, rock, Reggae, and all kinds of music. I don’t hate any kind of music, If that music gives me a good feeling i will listen to it (lol). My favorite artist is Homayoun Shajarian, a Persian singer who sings sonati, and also the Persian rapper (hichkas). I like 50 cent, Bob Marley, Eminem, and many other artists.

Gil: What sports do you like (If you do)? Any favorite teams? Athletes?

M.I.F: I love cycling as I was a cyclist, cars racing, swimming and many kinds of sport, my favorite team is the biking team of Astana, lotto, Columbia htc team etc. My favorite athletes are Marco Pantani, Alberto Contador, Mark Cavendish, Lance Armstrong etc.

Gil: What was the last movie you watched? Would you recommend it?

M.I.F: As i love comedies, my favorite movies were Dictator, Ted, The hangover, American pie etc. I recommend these movies if you didn’t see them (lol).

Gil: The lonely island scenario. What book would you take with you?

M.I.F: (lol) Weird question. If i was there, I think i wouldn’t need Quran(koran) or any holy book cause there is no Allah or god in that time to help me or any different god from different religion. This is my belief. I’d want a book about: how can i live in The lonely island and what can I do and what do I need and how can I run away from this hell (lol). Also, to spend my time with other books, I prefer to read the beautiful Persian poems from Maulana Rumi, Saadi, Hafiz, Omar Khayyam, Ferdowsi etc. I love Omar Khayyam and I think his book is good to spend my time. Let me write one of his poems:

 Khayyam, if you are intoxicated with wine, enjoy! If you are seated with a lover of thine, enjoy! In the end, the Void the whole world employ Imagine thou art not, while waiting in line, enjoy!

Meaning: In life devote yourself to joy and love Behold the beauty of the peaceful dove Those who live, in the end must all perish Live as if you are already in heavens above

Gil: Who was (or is) your greatest inspiration?

M.I.F: My inspiration person is Cyrus the great father of Persia (Iran) from 2600 years ago. When he said respect to all people with any beliefs and anyone is free to choose his/her religion or way and many beautiful words he said on his first charter of human rights in the world about 2600 years ago. He was a great man. I also love Maulana Rumi the Persian (Iranian) poet when he said: Not Christian or Jew or Muslim, not Hindu Buddhist, Sufi, or Zen. Not any religion or cultural system. I am not from the East or the West, not out of the ocean or up from the ground, not natural or ethereal, not composed of elements at all. I do not exist, am not an entity in this world or in the next, did not descend from Adam and Eve or any origin story. My place is placeless, a trace of the traceless. Neither body or soul. I belong to the beloved, have seen the two worlds as one and that one call to and know, first, last, outer, inner, only that breath breathing human being. or one of other poems of him is:I profess the religion of love, Love is my religion and my faith. My mother is love My father is love My prophet is love My God is love I am a child of love I have come only to speak of love. Etc.

Gil: What did you (or do you still) want to be when you grow up?

M.I.F: Well I am happy with what I have and so it should be. I have my 2 shops as I’m 21 years old. It’s true, we say people have many dreams to have all they want and each one of us has different wishes. Some can and their dreams will come true as they work hard for their wishes and some can’t because they didn’t try, or maybe their life changed by other things and they couldn’t do something to make their dreams come true. This world is too weird. My dream is peace between everyone. Each one of us, different countries, and I’m trying to help this world to be in peace. A big/hard wish but I hope slowly this wish will come true too, and many wishes I have which are not just about myself, but rather about the world or even my land Iran. I’m not selfish so i don’t have too much dreams for myself. I am happy with my life.

Gil: If a movie was made about you, who would be playing your part?

M.I.F: I’d prefer that I act in that movie (lol) because I think I can be a good actor and that movie will be more appealing, as it’s my life and I can act all feeling so true, and it will be just the true feeling in each part of my life in that movie.

Gil: What do you value the most about your friends?

M.I.F: Friends always help each other. With my good friend, we help each other, we have fun, When he or she is sad I’m sad, the valued thing with the real friends is that they don’t leave you alone and in the lonely moments they are with you.

Gil: What do you consider the most important lesson life taught you?

M.I.F:As I’m silly sometimes, I do stupid things. Don’t  laugh (lol). I’m sure you did too because we are all human and each one of us do the wrong things sometimes. All of humans, even the biggest persons. Experience – that’s what we get, sometimes. When I make mistakes, I will not be sad about it, maybe you can’t believe that, but I will be happy because it will be experience and is like a medal for me. Or an achievement (lol). It’s true and I’m not kidding. We should never be sad for making mistakes because any mistake is a step towards victory. I believe that we should never give up.

M.I.F: Which places do you like to visit? which place you choose for living (except the place you living now)?

Gil: I appreciate the greatness of nature Vs. the contrasting humbleness of men. For that reason, places that interest me are places where that contrast is evident. Examples include the grand Canyon in the US, the Amazon, Antarctica. I will likely not make it to most of these, but would be happy to see some. If there’s one place I’d like to live it’s the Golan Heights at the north of Israel. A beautiful place.

M.I.F: Which pet would you like to have? which pet wouldn’t you like?

Gil: As far as pets, I’m a dog person. I had a few and loved them. Currently taking a break from pets as I have enough on my plate. I don’t particularly like cats (Sorry internet :)) and I’d never keep a wild animal captive.

M.I.F: Out of the books you read, what are your favorite books?

Gil: Good thing you asked in the plural form, as I have quite a few. The books that really had an impact of me include: 1984/George Orwell, The Man In The Maze/Robert Silverberg, Lord Of The Rings/JRR Tolkien, Otherland/Tad Williams and Foundation/Isaac Asimov among others.

M.I.F: Which behavior don’t you like with people?

Gil: I will phrase it that way, people who do not have capacity for compassion. I feel sad for these folks. No matter what happens in our lives, there’s always someone who might have it less fortunate.

M.I.F: Which person is your biggest inspiration person? and why?

Gil: I’d have to say that on a personal level, my father was and still is my biggest inspiration. A person who’s done his best to be positive, honest and hard-working, who put his family’s needs ahead of his own. A person who fought Cancer for years, so he can see his kids reach a stage in their life where he could let go. A person who did not need anyone’s approval to be a good person. Another person who I’ve always thought highly of is Martin Luther King who showed that non-violence can achieve great things and overcome great wrongs.

M.I.F: What kind of music do you like to hear?

Gil: I love Rock music of many kinds. Some of my favorites include Led Zeppelin, Metallica, Bruce Springsteen, Nirvana and many many more. I’m also a big fan of Israeli singers who mix rock, and other western styles with middle eastern influences. Look up ‘Ehud Banai’ (Who I believe is from a Persian descent) in YouTube 🙂 Another Persian Israeli singer is Rita. Whether I like her style or not, her voice is simply amazing.

M.I.F: What are your dreams and wishes?

Gil: I am very modest in that regard. I believe I share the great dream of being happy. I do my best to be happy at all times, regardless of circumstances. I find that negative feelings tend to invite more such feelings into our lives. Outside of myself, I hope that people will find a way to live with each other in peace. So many lives, so much energy, money and resources are directed towards hate… it makes me wonder how can we not see that directing these to peaceful and productive existence would make this world so much better.

M.I.F: What is your purpose in life? And tell me about ultimate goal in your life.

Gil: This is a question I am still trying to answer myself 🙂 My ultimate goal in life is to try to live in peace with myself and others.

M.I.F: Which person did you want to be? and why?

Gil: As a youngster I wanted to be a DJ on the radio. I love music and always wanted to be the one to share it with people. These days I just want to be the best me I can possibly be.

M.I.F: Tell me about the biggest and important thing you learned from this world.

Gil: There are many great lessons I learned (and I have plenty of room for more). Perhaps the most important thing I learned was to understand that I’m responsible for everything in my life. To realize that nothing in the past could be changed and that the future is not here yet, therefore, I can only change what I do in the present. Because of that realization, I choose to avoid falling into the pitfall called regret, forgive myself and others and do my best at present time.

I hope you enjoyed our conversation. To complete Buddha’s quote in the title

Better than a thousand hollow words, is one word that brings peace.

I hope you did not find any of these word hollow. Each one of these, and so many more that are spoken every day, are meant to bring about the goal of many in the middle east – Peace.

My Iranian Friend could not be named in this forum to avoid persecution in his homeland.

I’m grateful for your cooperation my friend!

We both met on Facebook as part of the Israel-Love-Iran group and one of the goals of this group is to encourage communication between people of these two countries. I wanted to share this, and encourage others to have more of these! We are not our leaders, we are not politicians, we’re people and as you could see above, we have no problem with each other.

Feel free to share this post, spread the word. Hopefully one day, we could meet in Tel Aviv or in Tehran and chat over some coffee. Until then, Peace, Shalom, man solh raa arezou mikonam.

Come on and ride on the peace train!

What have you done for Peace lately?

Until next time,

Overdue Respect

Hi all and welcome back to my corner of the web.

Apologies for the recent slump. It’s due to some technical issues that are still ongoing (but being worked) as well as the flu. While I’m still not out of the woods on either front, I’m well enough to share a thought with you.

What’s on tap for today? Today is about a new-found respect.

You may have noticed that about me, but I do have the tendency to focus on a fairly narrow spectrum of interests at any given time. When put together, I’d like to think I found interest in a very wide variety, but my attention cannot be spread too thin, otherwise I feel I may let some things slip by…

The problem is, that while I try to avoid it, a few things definitely slip by or in the worst case scenario, I might even lose interest, or get “the wrong impression” of these.

What am I on about? I’d like to share just a few examples of artists I learned to like, or at the very least respect a lot more than I did in the past:

Chris Cornell:

For some odd reason, whether it was personal preference at a given time or god knows what, during the whole Seattle revolution I was (as usual) focused on a select few. Nirvana unsurprisingly being my main interest, followed closely by Pearl Jam and Alice in chains. Soundgarden was not. It just didn’t catch my ear at the time and when it did, more than a decade later, it coincided with a few things.

First was Audioslave. A band I knew nothing about but still managed to really like their music very much. Funny, at an older age, I care way less about “Who plays the bass for this band?” and more about listening to the actual songs. So when I later learned from a friend that this was Cornell’s project, I was pleasantly surprised.

The second thing that happened was PJ20 – Pearl Jam’s film in which (for obvious reasons), Chris Cornell played a pretty important role.

Two pieces of perspective were given in that regard. One is that the “Seattle scene” was in my humble view the most supportive, inspiring of all recent ones. Where bands work with each other, rather than compete with each other. Where collaboration and mutual artistic feedback were the bread and butter. The second observation was that Cornell was one of (if not THE most) the more influential/involved figures.

So yes, I found new respect for Chris Cornell. Rock on Chris!

R.E.M:

What can I say? When all the shiny happy people held their hands, I was Welcoming people to the Jungle and Seeking & Destroying most of the time 🙂 I didn’t have time for their music. I was also younger. So much for excuses.

When I grew up just a tad more, I softened enough to at least recognize that while I may not like some of their work, I could find things to respect them for. If nothing else, we’re talking about superb lyrics and really good melodies (for the most part :)).

Stipe has always struck me as a true artist, a feeling that was affirmed further in his touching speech when he inducted Nirvana into the rock and roll hall of fame.

Depeche Mode:

I never did like music that was heavily synthesized. I always preferred the Singer-Guitar-Bass-Drum set up. All of which actual instruments rather than an electronic representation. When I was younger, I obviously took that to the extreme by ignoring a lot of the bands that were heavily using this technology.

Again, I have to attribute this to age (See, there are advantages to getting old…), but while I still have the same preferences as I did in the past, I can appreciate and enjoy other things. Many “New Wave” bands (as is the case with any genre) are still of little to no interest to me, but Depeche Mode just have it just right. The right singer, the right creative forces. And good music.

 Tom Petty:

This one is a pure case of me being busy catching up with other artists, completely ignoring others. When I did give him a minute, it was the “Don’t come around here no more” video, which to this day is my least favorite song… So I let Tom slip by and only when I watched the making of “Damn the torpedoes” and a great Foo Fighter cover of “Breakdown” did I finally “get it”.

Suffice to say that Tom Petty was likely the biggest, most significant artist that slipped by my attention deficient ears…

Who will I write about in 10 years? Who’s slipping by me these days? Muse won’t 🙂

  • Who went under your radar?
  • Who changed your mind?

Until next time,